February' 2015 | Archive | Blog
Germany and Norway have signed an agreement to build a power cable that would connect the two countries’ electricity networks. The project was named Nordlink and it must be completed within five years. Nordlink will be built by the German company TenneT and KfW IPEX Bank in collaboration with the Norwegian group Stattnett.
Germany and Greece are willing to compromise on the conditions required to continue the bailout. German officials declared that as long as the program is prolonged, they are open for discussions on the budget of Greece and the conditions to be met in order for governmental assets to be sold. Greece, on the other side, declared a primary budget surplus is possible as long as it does not exceed the actual 4% of the GDP (gross domestic product). Alexis Tsipras, the Greek Prime Minister, also declared a compromise could be reached with respect to privatizations. Greek and European officials are still to determine whether the agreement will be an extension of the current program, a new program or a bridge deal.
Taxation of inheritances in Germany is mainly regulated by the Gift Tax Act, but the General Fiscal Code and the Foreign Tax Act also contain relevant provisions about inheritances. However, the law about inheritances has become quite controverted since in December 2014 when the German Constitutional Court ruled that not only individuals, but companies too must pay the inheritance tax. The parliament was given a year and a half grace period until June 2016 in order to come up with a plan that will minimize the differences between business and non-business inheritance taxes.
The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, declared at the World Economic Forum in Davos that the European Union is considering starting negotiations for the launch of a free trade zone with Russia and the newly formed Eurasian Economic Union provided that the Ukraine crisis is resolved. The German Minister of Economy, Sigmar Gabriel, also declared the European Union is interested in negotiating the existence of a new free trade zone as soon as the Ukraine conflict ends. Currently, the Eurasian Economic Union comprises Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Russia. Starting May 2015 Kyrgyzstan will also adhere to the Eurasian Economic Union. The German Minister of Economy also encouraged EU member states to take into account what could a possible free trade agreement between the two economic areas contain.